Sarri hopes Fabregas will stay despite rumors of a Chelsea exit

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Maurizio Sarri has gone on record to say he hopes Cesc Fabregas will stay at Chelsea despite rumors that he will leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Fabregas, now 31 years old, has made just five Premier League appearances this season, but Sarri believes he’s still a vastly important squad player, only kept off the field because of a lack of injuries to the midfield.

“I want him to stay, I don’t know the final decision of Cesc and the club of course,” Sarri said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match against Crystal Palace. “But for me it’s very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it’s not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player. And I think that in the market it’s very difficult to find a player with his characteristics.”

Fabregas has found more playing time in the fringe knockout competitions, starting in four of Chelsea’s six Europa League group stage games and also playing the full 90 minutes in all three EFL Cup matches. Still, he is not first-choice for Sarri who has chosen Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, and N'Golo Kante as his starting midfielders. Fabregas has been an unused substitute left on the Chelsea bench nine times this season in Premier League play.

The Spaniard’s contract expires at the end of this season, leaving him free to sign with any team on a free transfer starting in January. Chelsea reportedly has a policy to limit the contract offers to players over 30 years old, leaving Fabregas to ponder his future. He came to Stamford Bridge in 2014 from Barcelona and has made 196 appearances for the Blues across all competitions.